Skip to main content

Operation DOMINIC Nuclear Tests 1962

Movies Preview

movies
Operation DOMINIC Nuclear Tests 1962


Published 1962


This Dominic I video provides a visual overview of 36 atmospheric nuclear devices detonated in the Pacific Proving Ground from April to November 1962. It was the last atmospheric nuclear test series conducted by the United States. Also, Dominic I was the largest and most elaborate U.S. testing operation ever conducted. In geographic terms, the diagnostic stations receiving data from the tests covering more than 15 million square miles.

According to the video, Operation Dominic I was prompted by the "Soviet resumption of testing in 1961 after a three-year moratorium." The three main purposes of the series were the "proof testing" of new weapon designs, mainly thermonuclear; obtaining weapons effects data as it related to the electromagnetic pulse phenomenon and attenuation of radar; and obtaining data related to the offensive and defensive aspects of an incoming ballistic missile in a detonation environment.

Dominic I tests were conducted in three general locations: Johnston Island, airdrop and high-altitude detonations; Christmas Island, staging area for 24 airdrop tests; and the open ocean, launch of a Polaris missile from a submarine and subsequent detonation of a device in a reentry vehicle, and the detonation of a device carried by an antisubmarine rocket (ASROC).

Approximately 28,000 military and civilian personnel participated in the test series. More than 200,000 tons of supplies, construction materials, and diagnostic equipment were shipped or airlifted to the test areas.

Most of the devices were detonated in the air after being dropped from a B-52 bomber. Five high-altitude bursts, designated as Operation Fishbowl tests, were lofted by rockets. Their purpose was to study the effects of nuclear detonations as defensive weapons against incoming ballistic missiles.

The tests comprising the 1962 Operation Dominic I were as follows:

ADOBE, April 25, Christmas Island area, airdrop, weapons related, 190 kilotons (kt)
AZTEC, April 27, Christmas Island area, airdrop, weapons related, 410 kt
ARKANSAS, May 2, Christmas Island area, airdrop, weapons related, 1.09 megaton (Mt)
QUESTA, May 4, Christmas Island area, airdrop, weapons related, 670 kt
FRIGATE BIRD, May 6, Pacific, rocket, weapons related
YUKON, May 8, Christmas Island area, airdrop, weapons related, 100 kt
MESILLA, May 9, Christmas Island area, airdrop, weapons related, 100 kt
MUSKEGON, May 11, Christmas Island area, airdrop, weapons related, 50 kt
SWORDFISH, May 11, Pacific, underwater, weapons effects, low (less than 20 kt)
ENCINO, May 12, Christmas Island area, airdrop, weapons related, 500 kt
SWANEE, May 14, Christmas Island area, airdrop, weapons related, 97 kt
CHETCO, May 19, Christmas Island area, airdrop, weapons related, 73 kt
TANANA, May 25, Christmas Island area, airdrop, weapons related, 2.6 kt
NAMBE, May 27, Christmas Island area, airdrop, weapons related, 43 kt
ALMA, June 8, Christmas Island area, airdrop, weapons related, 782 kt
TRUCKEE, June 9, Christmas Island area, airdrop, weapons related, 210 kt
YESO, June 10, Christmas Island area, airdrop, weapons related, 3 megatons (Mt)
HARLEM, June 12, Christmas Island area, airdrop, weapons related, 1.2 Mt
RINCONADA, June 15, Christmas Island area, airdrop, weapons related, 800 kt
DULCE, June 17, Christmas Island area, airdrop, weapons related, 52 kt
PETIT, June 19, Christmas Island area, airdrop, weapons related, 2.2 kt
OTOWI, June 22, Christmas Island area, airdrop, weapons related, 81.5 kt
BIGHORN, June 27, Christmas Island area, airdrop, weapons related, 7.65 Mt
BLUESTONE, June 30, Christmas Island area, airdrop, weapons related, 1.27 Mt
STARFISH PRIME, July 9, Johnston Island area, rocket, weapons effects, 1.4 Mt*
SUNSET, July 10, Christmas Island area, airdrop, weapons related, 1 Mt
PAMLICO, July 11, Christmas Island area, airdrop, weapons related, 3.88 Mt
ANDROSCOGGIN, October 2, Johnston Island area, airdrop, weapons related, 75 kt
BUMPING, October 6, Johnston Island area, airdrop, weapons related, 11.3 kt
CHAMA, October 18, Johnston Island area, airdrop, weapons related, 1.59 Mt
CHECKMATE, October 20, Johnston Island area, rocket, weapons effects, low (less than 20 kt)*
BLUEGILL 3 PRIME, October 26, Johnston Island area, rocket, weapons effects, submegaton (less than 1 Mt, but more than 200 kt)*
CALAMITY, October 27, Johnston Island area, airdrop, weapons related, 800 kt
HOUSATONIC, October 30, Johnston Island area, airdrop, weapons related, 8.3 Mt
KINGFISH, November 1, Johnston Island area, rocket, weapons effects, submegaton (less than 1 Mt, but more than 200 kt)*
TIGHTROPE, November 4, Johnston Island area, rocket, weapons effects, low (less than 20 kt)*

* Operation Fishbowl tests, the high altitude component of the DOMINIC I nuclear tests series

This film was made as a Joint Task Force 8 command report to the secret oversight committees of United States Congress and as a visual archive of the Department of Defense.

These nuclear testing operations culminated with the Cuban Missile Crisis, and reached the fiercest point the day of the Bluegill Triple Prime test of near 1 megaton was detonated. During the night of that same day (local Washington, DC time) of October 26, U.S. Attorney General Robert Kennedy met secretly with Soviet Ambassador Anatoly Dobrynin to make emergency negotiations at the Soviet embassy in Washington, DC. This dramatic meeting broke the crisis in a call from RFK to President John F. Kennedy, in JFK ordering the removal of obsolete, liquid fueled missiles from Turkey in return for a Soviet missile and troop withdrawal from Cuba. This compromise allowed Soviet leader Nikita Krushchev to save face in such a withdrawal, despite a cablegram sent from belligerent Cuban leader Fidel Castro to Mr. Krushchev, urging a Soviet nuclear attack against the United States.

Another extremely dangerous scenario of these tests was a concurrent Soviet series of tests at both Kapustin Yar and Novaya Zemlya, unleashing the greatest displays of combined megatons ever known. November 1 witnessed the carrying out of nuclear weapons tests by both sides on THE SAME DAY.

There were disturbing results in archiving these extremely historic events in color, related directly to the properties and instabilities of Kodachrome I film of the time. The pigments of these color films reacted with the lacquer coating meant to protect the films in common storage conditions, causing very disappointing fading of blue dye, as well as changes in other dye components in these films. Careful, cool storage conditions in top secret vaults would have prevented much of this film quality destruction, and especially if the problem were discovered before the early 1970s, when Kodachrome I films were discovered to experience such destruction.

The blurriness of Kodachrome I films was attributed to the immense grain of very slow 16 mm ISO 10 color film, as well as the bleeding of dyes in the celluloid. These films were so slow that night scenes had to be simulated using blue filters in daylight. Blue dyes were the least sensitive to light in this stock, and therefore simulated darkness using blue filters. Notice in 1950s cowboy films that night scenes contained long shadows and bright highlights from sunshine, due to this technique of low light simulation required by Kodachrome I.

Periods of silence during this film were strictly intended. This film was carefully sanitized by nuclear weapons experts and Department of Defense officials to remove secret information.

Related sites:

http://www.archive.org/details/ExerciseDesertRock1951

http://www.archive.org/details/OperationGreenhouse1951

http://www.archive.org/details/TumblerSnapper1952

http://www.archive.org/details/OperationIVY1952

http://www.archive.org/details/The280mmGunattheNevadaProvingGround1953

http://www.archive.org/details/CastleCommandersReport1954

http://www.archive.org/details/MilitaryEffectsStudiesonOperationCastle1954

http://www.archive.org/details/MilitaryEffectsonOperationRedwing1956


Run time 26 minutes 23 seconds
Producer Joint Task Force 8
Production Company USAF Lookout Mountain Laboratory, Hollywood, California
Sponsor Joint Task Force 8
Audio/Visual sound, mono, Faded color, originated from unstable pigments in 16 mm Kodachrome I celluloid stocks of the time
Language English

Credits

The license holder of this film insists that any site (or individuals) linking or independently displaying through any Internet protocol to this film, to visibly, clearly and fully credit in text this organization ["Nuclear Weapons Vault"] on any pages linked, for providing this film: "Provided by the Nuclear Weapons Vault" This license does NOT allow derivations or alterations of this film. This license does NOT allow use of any portion of this film as part of other films, and this license does NOT allow artistic or technical alterations or commercial uses. This license does NOT allow this film to be displayed other than its entirety in the final forms of the files posted at Archive.org.

comment
Reviews

Reviewer: hrsauertieg - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 15, 2015
Subject: Awe inspiring
We were wise to film every aspect of these tests before the hammer came down on atmospheric testing. Say what you will, these atomic tests are great cinema.
SIMILAR ITEMS (based on metadata)
eye
Title
Date Archived
Creator
Short Format Films
movies
eye 37,015
favorite 8
comment 2
( 2 reviews )
Short Format Films
by Joint Task Force 7
movies
eye 21,166
favorite 7
comment 2
favoritefavoritefavorite ( 2 reviews )
Short Format Films
by Lookout Mountain Laboratory USAF
movies
eye 6,940
favorite 6
comment 0
Short Format Films
by Lookout Mountain Laboratory USAF
movies
eye 42,131
favorite 7
comment 2
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 2 reviews )
Feature Films
by Joint Task Force 132
movies
eye 42,676
favorite 19
comment 2
favoritefavoritefavorite ( 2 reviews )
Short Format Films
movies
eye 99,616
favorite 12
comment 4
favoritefavorite ( 4 reviews )
Short Format Films
by Lookout Mountain Laboratory USAF
movies
eye 62,310
favorite 7
comment 2
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 2 reviews )
Short Format Films
movies
eye 73,209
favorite 6
comment 4
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 4 reviews )
Short Format Films
by U.S. Department of Defense
movies
eye 47,654
favorite 15
comment 1
favoritefavoritefavorite ( 1 reviews )
European Libraries
by National Research Council (U.S.). Conference on Glossary of Terms in Nuclear Science and Technology
texts
eye 96
favorite 0
comment 0
Source: http://books.google.com/books?id=-zgrAAAAYAAJ&hl=&source=gbs_api